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Craftmanship and Trade Skills

Future Forecast: The Craft and Trade Skills Sector in Nigeria

Last Updated on January 27, 2024


The craft and trade skills sector is an important contributor to the Nigerian economy, particularly in terms of job creation and foreign exchange earnings.

However, the sector has faced various challenges in recent years, such as inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of skilled workers.

This blog post aims to explore the future of the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria, including trends and developments that are likely to shape the sector in the coming years.

Trends in the Craft and Trade Skills Sector

One key trend that is likely to shape the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria is the increasing focus on entrepreneurship and self-employment.

With the rise of digital technologies and platforms, it has become easier for skilled workers to market and sell their services online, creating new opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs and small-scale enterprises.

Another trend is the growing demand for skilled workers in the construction and infrastructure sectors, driven by Nigeria’s urbanization and population growth.

This presents both challenges and opportunities for the craft and trade skills sector, as it will require workers with specialized skills and training to fill these roles.

Future Prospects for the Sector

Despite the challenges facing the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria, there are several reasons to be optimistic about its future prospects.

One key factor is the increasing recognition of the importance of the sector among policymakers and the public, who have acknowledged the sector’s potential for job creation and economic growth.

Furthermore, recent initiatives such as the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) and the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) have aimed to improve the quality and relevance of vocational training in Nigeria.

These efforts, if sustained and expanded, could help to address the shortage of skilled workers and support the growth of the craft and trade skills sector.

Additionally, the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria faces various challenges and opportunities.

By embracing new technologies and business models, developing specialized skills to meet the needs of the construction and infrastructure sectors, and supporting initiatives to improve vocational training, the sector has the potential to play a significant role in Nigeria’s economic development in the coming years.

Read: Craftsmanship as a Driver of Tourism in Nigeria

Overview of Craft and Trade Skills Sector in Nigeria

The craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria is an essential industry that contributes to economic growth and development.

However, the sector faces various challenges that impede its progress.

In this section, we will provide an overview of the current state of the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria, highlight its importance to the Nigerian economy, and discuss the challenges that confront the sector.

Current state of the sector

  1. The craft and trade skills sector comprises artisans, technicians, and craftsmen who engage in manual work.

  2. The sector is a significant employer of labor, providing jobs to millions of Nigerians.

  3. Craftsmanship and trade skills in Nigeria range from carpentry, welding, plumbing, electrician, and masonry to fashion design, hairdressing, and catering.

  4. The sector is primarily informal, with little formal training and certification, making it challenging to track workers or measure sector growth.

  5. The lack of formal recognition also means that the sector is often neglected and overlooked in government policies and planning.

Importance of the sector to the Nigerian economy

  1. The craft and trade skills sector has great potential for contributing to Nigeria’s economy.

  2. The sector generates significant revenue for the country, with the potential to attract foreign investment.

  3. The Nigerian government has recognized the importance of the craft and trade skills sector and its potential contribution to job creation and economic growth.

  4. The government has introduced policies and initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and boost the sector.

  5. The sector also plays a significant role in preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage, with many artisans and craftsmen passing down traditional skills from generation to generation.

Challenges facing the sector

  1. The craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria faces many challenges, which prevent it from reaching its full potential.

  2. The lack of formal training and certification means that many workers have limited skills, leading to poor quality work.

  3. The sector is also plagued by low productivity due to inadequate infrastructure, such as power and transport.

  4. There is a lack of access to finance, making it difficult for craftsmen to acquire the necessary equipment and tools for their work.

  5. The sector is also highly fragmented, making it difficult to coordinate and implement policies that target its growth.

In summary, the craft and trade skills sector plays a crucial role in the Nigerian economy.

The sector provides employment for millions of Nigerians and contributes to preserving the country’s cultural heritage. However, the sector’s potential has not been fully realized due to the challenges it faces.

The Nigerian government must prioritize the craft and trade skills sector by implementing policies that support its growth, provide access to finance and infrastructure, and formalize the sector through training and certification.

By doing so, Nigeria can harness the potential of the craft and trade skills sector to drive economic growth and development.

Read: The Role of Government in Promoting Trade Skills

Trends in the Craft and Trade Skills Sector

The emergence of new skills and trades

Craft and trade skills have been crucial to the Nigerian economy for many years. However, as times change, new skills and trades are emerging in the sector.

One of the new trades that is becoming popular is 3D printing. With the advent of 3D printers, skilled individuals are needed to handle the technology.

This new skill is in high demand, and more people are starting to learn it.

Furthermore, there is a growing demand for technicians who specialize in renewable energy.

As the world shifts towards renewable energy, many companies in Nigeria are now investing in solar power and wind turbines.

Therefore, there is a need for skilled technicians to install, maintain, and service these equipment.

Another emerging skill in the craft and trade skills sector is digital marketing.

This field is rapidly growing, and there is a high demand for skilled individuals who can help businesses increase their online presence.

With the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria, digital marketing experts are increasingly sought after.

Changes in traditional skills and trades

The passage of time always leads to changes, and the same is true for traditional crafts and trades. One of the traditional trades that is changing is pottery.

While pottery has been around for centuries, the demand for it has dwindled, and many potters have had to switch to other crafts.

Moreover, with the advent of modern technology, many potters are now using automated kilns and glazing machines, leading to the loss of traditional techniques.

Similarly, the textile industry has undergone a significant transformation. With the rise of fast fashion, many companies are now using cheap labor and materials to mass-produce clothing.

Unfortunately, this trend has contributed to the loss of traditional textile skills like weaving, dying, and embroidery.

Impact of technology on the sector

Technology has had a profound impact on various industries, and the craft and trade skills sector is no different.

Traditionally, most craftspeople had to rely on manual tools to accomplish their tasks. However, with the advent of power tools and other automated equipment, many of these skills have become easier to learn.

Moreover, technology has led to the development of new techniques that were previously impossible.

For instance, with computer-aided design (CAD) software, it is now possible to design intricate patterns and shapes that would have been too complex to achieve with traditional methods.

However, there are also some downsides to the impact of technology on the sector. For one, many people are now using mass-produced items rather than handmade crafts.

Secondly, technology has contributed to the loss of traditional techniques as automated machines are now doing tasks that were once done by hand.

In essence, the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria is changing, and it’s important to keep up with the trends.

While some traditional skills are dying out, new skills and trades are emerging, and technology is playing a significant role in shaping the future of the sector.

As such, it’s essential for craftspeople and tradespeople to continually learn and adapt to remain relevant in this changing industry.

Read: Case Study: Successful Craft Businesses in Nigeria

Future Outlook of the Craft and Trade Skills Sector

Opportunities for growth and development

  • Despite the challenges facing the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria, there are still numerous opportunities for growth and development.

  • One of the major opportunities is the demand for skilled workers in various industries such as construction, agriculture, and manufacturing.

  • The growth of the informal sector also presents an opportunity for artisans and craftsmen to market their skills and products.

Potential for job creation

  • The craft and trade skills sector has the potential to create a significant number of jobs in Nigeria.

  • With a focus on training and development, more individuals can acquire the necessary skills to become artisans and craftsmen, thereby reducing unemployment.

  • Government support through incentives and policies can also encourage the growth of small-scale enterprises in the sector, ultimately leading to more job opportunities.

Investing in the sector

  • Investing in the craft and trade skills sector can yield great returns for individuals and the Nigerian economy as a whole.

  • Private investors can play a significant role in providing funding, training, and skill development for artisans and craftsmen.

  • The government can also invest by providing infrastructure, such as training facilities and equipment, and offering incentives to private investors.

  • With the right investment, the sector has the potential to contribute significantly to the economy through increased productivity, job creation, and export opportunities.

Read: The Global Influence of Nigerian Craftsmanship

Strategies for Enhancing the Craft and Trade Skills Sector

While the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria faces numerous challenges, it is not beyond redemption.

With the right strategies in place, this sector can experience significant growth and development.

Below are three strategies that can potentially enhance the craft and trade skills sector:

Government policies and initiatives

The Nigerian government can steer the growth of this sector by enacting policies that provide the necessary support and incentives.

Firstly, the government can establish training institutions that provide practical training for craft and trade skills. This would go a long way in providing a steady supply of skilled artisans and technicians.

Secondly, the government can create a regulatory framework that ensures uniformity in skill standards and certifications.

This would create a level playing field for artisans and technicians in the sector. Additionally, the government can provide access to microcredit facilities for artisans and technicians.

This will ensure that they have the financial support they need to carry out their craft.

Private sector involvement

The private sector can also play a vital role in enhancing the craft and trade skills sector. Firstly, private sector organizations can invest in training artisan and technician apprentices.

This would create an environment where practical skills are passed down from experienced practitioners to new entrants into the sector.

Secondly, private sector organizations can develop partnerships with education and training institutions.

These partnerships would ensure that the skills being taught are practical and relevant, and they would create an environment that promotes exchange between students and industry practitioners.

Collaboration between stakeholders

Collaboration between government, private sector, educational institutions, and artisans and technicians is crucial for the growth and development of the craft and trade skills sector.

To achieve this, a multi-stakeholder approach that involves regular dialogue and cooperation is necessary.

For instance, an industry advisory council comprising of government officials, artisans and technicians, private sector organizations, and education and training institutions could be established to promote dialogue and collaboration.

Such a council could be tasked with reviewing policies, providing advice on training and capacity building, as well as ensuring that skills standards and certifications remain relevant and up-to-date.

Enhancing the craft and trade skills sector is vital for Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

By implementing the strategies listed above, the sector can be infused with skilled artisans and technicians with practical skills that will enable them to compete effectively in local and international markets.

Collaboration between stakeholders, government policies and initiatives, and private sector involvement are key to achieving this goal.

See Related Content: Success Stories: Notable Nigerian Craftsmen


In this blog section, we have explored the future forecast of the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria.

We have discussed key points such as the importance of vocational education and the need for a skilled labor force in the country.

As we have seen, the craft and trade skills sector has the potential to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth.

By investing in skills development programs and providing access to proper training and education, the country can create employment opportunities, reduce poverty, and boost the local economy.

It is essential for Nigeria to prioritize the craft and trade skills sector by implementing policies geared towards promoting skills development and entrepreneurship.

This will enable the sector to thrive and attract foreign investment, thereby creating more job opportunities and improving the country’s overall economic performance.

Furthermore, stakeholders in the sector need to collaborate to develop a sustainable framework and strategy that will enhance the competitiveness of Nigeria’s craft and trade skills sector in the global market.

This can be achieved by forming partnerships, engaging in research, and creating initiatives that foster innovation and growth.

Finally, the craft and trade skills sector in Nigeria has enormous potential for growth and development in the coming years.

With the implementation of appropriate policies, sustainable frameworks, and collaboration, the sector can be leveraged to create a vibrant and competitive economy for Nigeria.

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